I found the Delta of Venus in the Bargain bin at Barnes and Noble on one of my almost daily visits. It was a steal at $5.96 and I endeavored to read it as soon as I was done with my current read, which was The Doors of Perception. I couldn’t start it after because, well, my mind was blown by Huxley’s candid and very vivid descriptions of his descent into his own mind. Reading an erotica book after that seemed so petty.
Yet here we are.
On new years day, I check out my book self to see if there were any books I purchased the year prior that weren’t read yet; my thought was to try the one book a week challenge and write weekly reviews; also, just structure my reading since I average about a book a week anyway. The only one I hadn’t read was Delta of Venus.
I took the Book Jacket off, and took it with me my first day back to work in the new year. Frigid day. Storm was on it’s way and this book, I imagined would be the perfect amount of heat to get through it. I’d heard of Anais Nin but never read anything she wrote save for correspondence between her and Henry Miller and stories about them.
I read the first line as the Q train pulled off from the Prospect Park train station. The first story in the book; The Hungarian Adventurer conjured up a refined Caucasian gentleman with all the finesse an wild adventurer could muster but instead found a fast fall into an abyss of debasement and then pedophilia/ hebephilia and then the two in conjunction with incest by the end. At least his children found the strength to stop him but the taint of his sexual desires had already tainted them.
I struggle now like I struggled with Lolita.
Should I read on or should I stop?
This is not something light; I growing up in the age of the internet where nothing is off limits. I’ve seen some really dark things online and read even darker but they’re always in an adult, safe, sane, and most times consensual setting. At least, at least the setting is of two adults. (18+)
Incest I can deal with for the sake of showing the darkness of his mind and the desire to possess his daughters so they would never leave him but children. Children is where I draw the line.
For argument’s sake, it was a different time and arguably girls the age mentioned in the books were probably getting married still to older gentlemen or were maybe even sexually socialized earlier; I can say that this is possible BUT this is still hard to read. Mind you, this is erotica but through the author’s story, written for a depraved man who could not get enough debauchery.This is not soccer mom naughty books this is erotica and from a different time.
But, still I struggle.
I will put it down for now and hope that I can think about it from a different perspective in a few days or after reading some more on the book.
So; I will start a new book tomorrow.